Without Bert; or, Ernie Home Alone.
Tuba or Not Tuba.
Notice how Ernie throws things around in the first sketch: his hat, his scarf, Bert's note...he is compulsively sloppy, if there is such a thing.
I can only imagine what a giggle Jim Henson's impression of Bert, and thereby of Frank Oz, must have produced on set.
I could say something critical about Ernie deliberately acting out to get a reaction from Bert, but I can't think of anything else but his sad little sniffle at the end of the sketch. Ohhhh Ernie, I want to hug you so much!
The round-headed gentleman in the second sketch is the aptly named Simon Soundman. He is not the same character as Grover's frequent restaurant patron, although it has been suggested that they may be related. One time Simon Soundman went to a music store to buy a trumpet, which seems like a waste of money to me.
That really is a beautiful tuba solo. Why don't tubas get more love? Just because they're large and unwieldy and have a comical name...
Bert is really funny here: "Oompah in the Park with Ned" and "Tuba, tuba, TUBA, TUUUUUBA!" not to mention when he opens his mouth and nothing happens. It's nice to see him get to be the funnyman instead of the straight man for once. Not that it turns out any better for him at the end.